Elijah Adebayo’s first half strike sent Luton back into the Sky Bet Championship play off places as the Hatters earned a 1-0 victory over Coventry at the CBS Arena.
Adebayo was on the end of Alex Palmer’s long ball forward and curled in his first goal in six games to take Luton back into the top six.
Coventry’s second defeat in as many outings put another dent in the Sky Blues’ play off charge, leaving them six points off the top six with 10 games to play.
Nathan Jones made a handful of changes to the Luton line-up with Dan Potts returning in defence in place of the injured Kal Naismith, whilst Luke Berry and Jordan Clark continued their comebacks from injury in place of Danny Hylton and the injured Gabe Osho.
Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu was also handed his first start since mid-February after missing the visitors’ last four games through fatigue.
Mark Robins recalled strikers Martyn Waghorn and Matty Godden, the latter starting for the first time since January 15 following surgery to remove his appendix, whilst Callum O’Hare returned to the matchday squad.
The Sky Blues were on the front foot from the off and Viktor Gyokeres nipped in front of the returning Potts before whipping his cross into strike partner Godden inside the first 15 seconds. Godden, who scored a brace on his last start against Peterborough, scuffed his effort into the welcoming arms of the Hatters’ emergency loanee stopper Palmer from the centre of the box.
Coventry created another good chance to open the scoring again inside the first five minutes when Gustavo Hamer drove towards the Town box and slipped in Gyokeres, who spooned his effort over the bar.
Hamer, who signed a new contract earlier in the week, continued to be allowed the run of the midfield whilst Jones berated his lacklustre side as Godden was inches away from getting on the end of Jake Clarke-Salter’s cross.
The Hatters’ first effort came through Berry in the 25th minute, before Gyökeres was presented with a carbon copy of his earlier chance when he was slipped in once again by Hamer.
On this occasion, the Sky Blues’ top scorer was thwarted by Palmer for a second time, before the West Brom loanee leapt off the turf and took aim at Adebayo downfield.
The former Walsall striker latched onto the goalkeeper’s pass before cutting inside, opening his body up and caressing his 13th Championship goal of the season into the bottom corner.
The Sky Blues’ efforts to reach parity saw Kyle McFadzean head Hamer’s corner over the bar before Ian Maatsen fired over from distance.
Hamer’s corner also flicked the top of the crossbar whilst Simon Moore’s smart save prevented Adebayo doubling his and Luton’s tally before Tom Lockyer’s follow-up was blocked.
Coventry’s golden chance to equalise came with 10 minutes to go, Fabio Tavares’ driving run landing at the feet of O’Hare, who fired straight at Palmer from point-blank range.
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